Obama Dishonest on Preconditions for Negotiating with Iran?
QUESTION: In your first year as president, with president Ahmadinejad, without preconditions, is there anything you have heard today, in your discussions with Israeli leaders that has made you rethink that pledge? Or are you still standing by that?
OBAMA: Dan, I think you have to take a look at what the question was in South Carolina and how I responded.
The question is, would I meet with leaders without preconditions in pursuit...
OBAMA: I understand. I understand.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) ... in your first year as president.
OBAMA: But I think that what I said in response was that I would, at my time and choosing, be willing to meet with any leader if I thought it would promote the national security interests of the United States of America.
And, Dan, that continues to be my position. That if I think that I can get a deal that is going to advance our cause, then I would consider that opportunity.
But what I also said was that there is a difference between meeting without pre-conditions and meeting without preparation. You know, the specific context of your question let's say with respect to Iran, is a Bush administration policy, for example, that said, we will not involve ourselves in any diplomatic negotiations or even talks with the Iranians until they have made the decision to stand down on their nuclear weapons. Well, that presumably would be the topic of negotiations. And if we take that position, then it's not surprising that we might not make much progress on that front.
Yet, here is what happened at that debate last year.
QUESTION: "[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?"... OBAMA: "I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration - is ridiculous. And I think that it is a disgrace that we haven't spoken with them." (CNN/YouTube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Charleston, SC, 7/23/07)
In addition, he repeat the promise at the South Carolina debate at other times:
Question: 'Senator, you've said before that you'd meet with President Ahmadinejad ...' Obama: 'Uh huh.' Question: 'Would you still meet with him today?' Obama: 'Yeah, nothing's changed with respect to my belief that strong countries and strong presidents talk to their enemies and talk to their adversaries. I find many of President Ahmadinejad's statements odious and I've said that repeatedly. And I think that we have to recognize that there are a lot of rogue nations in the world that don't have American interests at heart. But what I also believe is that, as John F. Kennedy said, we should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate.' (Sen. Barack Obama, Press Conference, New York, NY, 9/24/07)
When is the MSM going to prepared enough to actually ask a follow up question?